A non-American might wonder what on Earth the American president must be thinking, given that the United States is a party to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the overwhelming evidence in favor of anthropogenic climate change (ACC). So, what the hell, USA?
Unfortunately, the Paris Agreement has no concrete proposals for dealing with climate change, only aims. However, despite the incredibly dangerous positions of a large number of Republican representatives, the American population at large is very concerned about climate change. They have good reason, given the growing dangers of climate change on future generations. Even more so, a majority of Americans support alternative energy over non-renewable energy.
Why is it then that Congress can’t muster enough confidence to vote with the majority of the population? This is obvious: it’s the money, stupid. Scott Pruitt, Trump’s appointed head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is one of the top ten attorney generals who received of energy industry donations. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as many Republicans and Democrats have received donations from energy industry lobbyists through SuperPACs. Even more so, heads of the energy industry knew and used the knowledge of climate change to manipulate the market, as Exxon Mobil did. What’s ironic is that, despite the calls for more jobs for big oil and gas, the solar energy sector creates 50% more jobs than oil and gas construction and extraction combined. That’s just solar. However, even more fundamentally, is the fact that the security of the economy rests on the security of transportation, and renewable energy can lower and stabilize costs of transporting goods. I think it would be appropriate to quote the former President on this issue:
“Other countries are now exporting technology we pioneered and they’re going after the jobs that come with it because they know that the countries that lead the 21st century clean energy economy will be the countries that lead the 21st century global economy.” (italics for emphasis)